So many theories, ranging from mental issues to 'that person is just a plain jerk...'  But now experts say the real reasons why people detonate behind the wheel is ancient and primal.

The triggers range from work stress, to frustration from virtually any source. Maybe working too hard, or financial woes.

But the root causes come from our hormones. According to information posted by the American Automotive Association (AAA) a 2016 study says we go nutty because of the same hormones the produce adrenaline and the "fight or flight" response.  It's stress hormones.

It's a condition called "amygdala highjacking," in which our bodies are taken over by the same hormones that surge when we feel threatened. In reality, we're reacting the way we would if we were trying to defend ourselves against real or perceived enemies. Wow!

That's kind of scary when you think about it, but it explains why some people go absolutely nuts behind the wheel, and commit often scary acts. While they're taking it out on other drivers, their primal survival instincts are reacting the way a cave man would have when confronted by a sabre tooth tiger.

AAA says there are steps to take to avoid this, especially these:

  • If you see or suspect a road rage driver, slow down or take steps to distance them from you.
  • Don't engage them, ignore if you can. But then alert authorities. DO call 911 if they're behaving dangerously.
  • If directly confronted, don't roll down windows. Head towards nearest safety area, police station or public place.
  • And despite the enjoyment some get from antagonizing people and watching them melt down, don't spur them on.